Feminism In Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper

“Women have been taught that, for us, the earth is flat, and that if we venture out, we will fall off the edge”, Andrea Dworkin wrote. Andrea Dworkin, a radical feminist, meant that women were taught to keep to themselves with no dreams or aspirations to follow. In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, she highlights the struggles of a sick woman in a patriarchal society. During the late seventeenth century when The Yellow Wallpaper was written, hit the first wave of feminism. Women were expected to take care of the house and watch the babies without any say. First wave feminism highlights the inequalities between the sexes relatively as Gilman does in her short story. The unnamed protagonist is a sick woman who has no say in her medical care given by her husband/physician, John. She writes in a secret journal that introduces the issues faced by women in a male dominated world. Women were expected to follow an …show more content…
In the short, John is the dominant spouse between him and the protagonist. John is in complete control of the narrator as he believes that he is helping her. “[I] am absolutely forbidden to “work” until I am well again”, the narrator writes in distress (Gilman 2). The relationship is not a healthy one as her health worsens but, John does his medical care out of love. Even then, John does not treat the narrator with the respect she deserves as his wife and a human being with emotions. “John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage”(Gilman 1). In a normal, healthy husband-wife complex, spouses listen to each other with an open mind. Between the narrator and Jennie, John’s sister, Jennie treats her as a child. Jennie is their housekeeper and she takes care of the baby. Thus leaving the narrator to believe she is not capable of contributing anything to her

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